This was a very exciting, dynamic and unusual concert, part of the Live at Lunch series at the Concourse, devised and presented by internationally renowned flautist Jane Rutter.
The performance opened dramatically with a very unconventional version of the traditional balled The Minstrel Boy featuring a new arrangement by Jane Rutter. Rutter, wearing a heavily brocaded kimono like outfit with a gold outer layer over pink and green floral underlay, was superb on flute with Blak Douglas equally good on didgeridoo.
Rutter then went on to talk about how she has a great sense of belonging to the land and country and its songlines and how the flute and the didgeridoo are two of the world’s instruments.
In early April, good friends and very talented musicians, violinist Lawrence Lee and pianist Siang Ching Ngu, will present a charity concert entitled TRANSFORMING LIVES THROUGH MUSIC during which they will play works by Brahms, Kreisler, Tchaikovsky, Falla, Sarasate and Piazzolla at the Concourse.
All proceeds from the recital will go to a very good cause, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia; a not-for-profit organisation providing Clinical Musical Therapy and Community Music Programs.
Nordoff-Robbins runs numerous programs aimed at transforming people’s lives through music including musical therapy for special needs schools and aged care facilities, running music clubs for people with a disability, as well various training and education programs to spread the influence of music through the broader community.
CONCERT DETAILS :
The concert TRANSFORMING LIVES THROUGH MUSIC will take place onWednesday 5th of April, 7:30 pm at the Concourse Chatswood.
The Melbourne Ballet Company (MBC) has been going for a decade now and this is their first visit to the Concourse with their explosive and dynamic triple bill of world premieres given the umbrella title of BEING IN TIME.
One of the important philosophical publications of our time by Martin Heidegger is the foundation for the work. The program examines the belief that philosophical thinking begins with and reflects its human subjects, in their acting, feeling, and as recognisable living human individuals. This existential understanding of being is grounded in time. Another phrase for it is ‘living in the moment’. All three short, sharp works used a recorded soundtrack. Continue reading MELBOURNE BALLET COMPANY PRESENTS ‘BEING IN TIME’ @ THE CONCOURSE→
The Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and conductor Dr Nicholas Milton were off to a terrific start for 2017 with their concert entitled GENIUS, part of the year long program entitled ENDURING PASSION.
The concert featured works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms with special guest artist, gifted violinist Lily Higson-Spence.
Overall the orchestra was in fine, glowing form with a delicious rich tone. Dr Milton conducted very energetically yet extremely precisely .
The concert rocketed off to a tense, dynamic start with Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No.3. In the form of a dramatic full scale single symphonic movement, the piece was eloquently played and featured an augmented horn section. The work featured surging, crashing, tempestuous strings with a flute soaring above and an inquisitive questioning woodwind, all leading up to an impressive, thrilling finale.
Guest artist Lily Higson-Spence, in a long flowing halter neck beige gown with a large bow at the back, dazzled playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor Op.64.
The standard symphonic structure is used by Mendelssohn but slightly changed by the composer. It is regarded as one of the most lyrical and flowing works of its type and is one of the most frequently performed of all violin pieces. The work had its premiere in Leipzig on March 13, 1845.
For this work, Higson-Spence, Dr Milton and the Orchestra combined as one for a magnificent performance. It was mostly Higson-Spence ,however, leading the discussion between the three in collaborative harmony .
Higson-Spence’s bravura solos were mesmerising. Her violin had a pure tone, precisely controlled yet volcanic underneath. Sometimes the violin, singing its heart out, was lyrical and reflective, melancholic and passionate, at other times the violin darted about at a blistering pace.
Simon Hoy is the resident choreographer and tour director of the Melbourne Ballet Company and up till now has created seventeen works for the Company.
Hoy studied at the Australian Ballet School and has worked in Europe, Asia and America before returning to Australia in 2007.
The Melbourne Ballet Company, established in 2007, is led by Alisa Finney, and has talented dancers from around the globe.
As part of a national tour, and the Company’s tenth anniversary celebration, they are bringing a triple bill entitled BEING AND TIME to the Concourse at Chatswood.
This is a world premiere production and will feature new works by Simon Hoy, Lucas Jervies (who has worked with the Australian Ballet, Scapino Ballet, Expressions Dance Company , Sydney Dance Company and the Queensland Ballet, among others ) and Tim Podesta (who has worked with the South African Ballet Theatre, Queensland Ballet and Projection Dance, to name just a few).
Hoy described this new production, ” as examining the belief that philosophical thinking begins with, and reflects, its human subjects, in their acting, feeling, and as recognisable, living human individuals. This existential understanding of being is ‘grounded in time’, or the more popular way of describing it, is ‘of living in the moment.”
Hoy has been inspired by reading the works of Martin Heidegger the German philosopher. “While the predominant value of existentialist thought is widely acknowledged to be its freedom, its intrinsic primary virtue lies in its authenticity. Being and Time seeks to explore the concept of authenticity and the meaning of life, striving to articulate the question of Being.
“Through the movements depicted , questions are raised, – where does this movement come from? what does it mean to be human?!”
Hoy said that with this new work he is, “attempting to ignore his knowledge and preconceived ideas about the Company’s dancers, and create something as new, fresh and challenging as possible.”
The company is very excited as Mara Galeazzi, a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet – currently performing with them in Woolf Works – will be joining the Company for the production.
Hoy has worked with her previously on a gala, and has already met with her this year.and met her again earlier this year.
In other exciting news, Joseph Phillips , of the State Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theater in Vladivostok, and formerly of the American Ballet Theatre, will also be part of the production.
The Melbourne Ballet Company is classically based but like almost all dance companies now performs a mix of a variety of styles including ‘neoclassical’ and contemporary, They have a loyal following and have developed enthusiastic audiences in not just Melbourne but in regional areas too.
Hoy said he regards regional touring as very important and is excited that the Company is touring widely including to Darwin, Alice Springs and Western Australia.
The Melbourne ballet Company can be seen performing BEING AND TIME at the Chatswood Concourse on March 11 and 12.
The Company will return to the Concourse again at the end of June when it will stage another new work, Arche, based on Swan Lake.
This is madcap, exuberant fun, making for marvelous school holiday fare. It is a high energy dance, techno and visual spectacular direct from Japan and these shows in Sydney are their only Australian performances.
The award-winning dance troupe have taken the world by storm, attracting millions of views on YouTube following their appearances on America’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent.
SIRO_A’s unique combination of energetic dance and ground-breaking video-mapping technology – alongside a pulsating techno beat – creating an audio-visual spectacle that appeals to audiences of all ages.
Their name SIRO-A (SIRO = White, colorless in Japanese) means “belonging to no group, impossible to define as anybody.” SIRO-A fuses mime, groundbreaking visual effects, and a techno soundtrack to create a whole new entertainment, “Technodelic & Visual Show. Continue reading SIRO – A @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD→
The latest and last in this year’s series of Live at Lunch concerts was based on the idea of the spirit world /the occult and the magic of nocturnal love . Hence the title THE VAMPIRE DIARIES which Jane Rutter also announced had allusions to the very popular Harry Potter series.
Rutter was extremely Gothicky-elegant in a glittering black out fit with a cloak around her shoulders and a white scarf cravat around her neck. Guest artist Simon Tedeschi was stylish in a smartly cut dark suit.
The latest delicious offering in the Live At Lunch series this was a wonderful short concert celebrating Italy in music.
Rutter was elegant in black slacks and a lacy top combined with red shoes. She was joined for this concert by Giuseppe Zangari on classical guitar and Marcello Maio on piano and piano-accordion. Rutter mostly used her favourite gold flute but also the piccolo depending on what was required and at times both she and Maio changed instruments mid piece.
The opening Sonata in A Major for Flute and Guitar by Giulani was charming and sprightly with the flute darting and swooping.
Drigo’s fluid Serenade from Les Millions D’Arlequin followed , with is circular melodies and was played with wonderful timing and phrasing (as were all the works selected).
Next came a crisp, sparkling yet lush version of Michel Peguri’s Bourrrasque.
A dynamic infectious performance by Maio on accordion followed.
The first of the 2016 programme was entitled Classical Heroes and the Art of Seduction . We were privileged to have international opera and musical sensation divo Teddy Tahu Rhodes as special guest to enchant us. The concert’s chosen theme was love and seduction.
Curator of the series, internationally renowned flautist Jane Rutter, welcomed us and then introduced Rhodes, who came on stage on crutches after a recent accident. Rhodes mostly sang, perched on a stool.
This was a superb afternoon spent enjoying the three fine music selections, chosen for the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, and presented as BOHEMIAN TANGO.
Energetically conducted by Warwick Potter, the first piece was a symphonic masterwork in five movements, composed by Elena Kats-Chernin, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s 2015 Composer-in-Residence. ‘Recollecting ASTORoids’ provided a detailed and most magnificent tango experience, performed by the full symphony orchestra. If a CD recording of ‘Recollecting ASTORoids’ existed, its beautiful tango music would be a recommended purchase. Continue reading Willoughby Symphony Orchestra presents Bohemian Tango @ The Concourse CHATSWOOD→
Willoughby Theatre Company productions just keep on getting better and better. This amazing production of this now iconic musical, with its huge cast, under the direction of Declan Moore, transports us to Buenos Aires. As we enter and take our seats, tango music softly plays.
Greed, power and corruption ooze through this show. There is much cynical manipulation of the common people and unacknowledged hypocrisy. The musical, told in flashback- it starts with Eva’s funeral- tells the story of the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. Continue reading Willoughby Theatre Company’s Evita @ The Concourse→
For a titillating night of mirth and seduction taking place within the world of magic, you cannot go past THE NAKED MAGICIANS. Christopher Wayne and Mike Tyler are performing their 90 minute show at the Concourse in Chatswood from the 7th to the 9th May as part of the 2015 Sydney Comedy Festival.
With the umbrella title AMADEUS: CLASSIC MOZART AND BACH the magnificent Willoughby Symphony Orchestra (WSO) and choir presented us with a tremendous performances featuring Mozart and Bach as well as two wonderful contemporary works. Their final concert for 2014 was performed in front of a full house. It was a privilege to have Gail Giles-Gidney, the Mayor of Willoughby, in attendance.
Special guest conductor Paul Fitzsimon was intense, energetic and fiery. He is currently on the staff of Opera Australia and also has various international conducting commitments. He looked slim and striking in orchestral black. Continue reading WSO AT THE CONCOURSE→
This is a dazzling, superb version of Lloyd Webber and Rice’s rock opera JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR that takes one’s breath away.
Willoughby Theatre Company‘s(WTC) revival, directed by Stig Bell is a contemporary reworking of the now classic 1970’s musical that burns , including contemporary choreography,slang and ironic allusions to modern day life that make it as fresh as if it was written yesterday .
In a strong ,powerful piece of theatre , Lloyd Webber and Rice take us through the last week of Jesus’ life and ministry,as based on the Gospels . This includes Palm Sunday ,the Last Supper and end with the events of Good Friday and Mary Magdalene sobbing over Jesus’ inert body.
The latest splendid LIVE AT LUNCH concert was entitled ’ Strauss, Ravel Canteloube’‘ and featured curator Jane Rutter on flute (and assorted other instruments), Vincent Colagiuri on piano and quadruple threat ( yes quadruple threat) and Opera Australia star soprano Taryn Fiebig both singing and playing the cello (who knew that she had majored in cello at WAPPA?! ).
The roughly ¾ audience in the stalls consisted mostly of those over 55 although there were a few younger.
Rutter was stunning in a long sleeveless flowing green gown while Fiebig wore an intriguing, rather odd, possibly futuristic in style black bolero top and a horizontally quilted grey long skirt rather unflattering and stiff. Handsome pianist Vincent Colagiuri was dapper in a tuxedo. Continue reading Live at Lunch: Strauss, Ravel , Canteloube→
The Willoughby Symphony Orchestra has come up with another thrilling, spectacular concert. This time it’s a combination of favourite Russian composers, Mussorgsky, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky, with special guest artist Ji Won Kim on violin for the Tchaikovsky.
Under the dynamic, energetic conducting of maestro Dr Nicholas Milton the Orchestra was in impressive form with a lush, rich tone when required.
The opening work was Shostakovich’s ‘Festive Overture’, (1954) with a gigantic supplemented orchestra. Shostakovich wrote it at great speed to celebrate the 37th anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution and uses conventional classical devices of forms and harmony. The piece begins with a strident brass fanfare and was at times blisteringly fast. There was a very energetic feel. The bulk of the work is written in sonata form which is enclosed within the two fanfare sections and the finale coda. The strings (sometimes using pizzicato) and brass sometimes tumbled together, tuba and cymbals puffing and crashing combining with the violins and cellos towards the breathless coda conclusion. Continue reading The Russian Masters→